Acupuncture terms for better understanding

IMG_7817Yesterday, a patient glanced at me with a puzzled look in her eyes when I talked about her Liver Blood and Qi. Even though I talk and think in Acupuncture terms and have done so every day for the last 19 years, I sometimes forget the terminology might be brand new to a new patient.

If that’s the case with you, please just remind me that it is all new to you. I ALWAYS have time to spend with you and am happy to clarify anything you do not understand.

I wrote my second, Keys to a Vibrantly Healthy Life, to help people understand why and how Acupuncture works. Check it out and find tools to help you live a healthier life. The book is available as an e-book or you can pick up a hard copy in our office. Or, you might find it interesting to have a card with your Chinese Diagnosis on it; just ask me for one.

Here is a brief guide to some terms to help you get back to basics with Acupuncture terms! The following is a list of words and phrases you may hear me say when you come for a treatment:

  • Balance – Balance is what we try to achieve on every visit. You have balance in your life and body when everything feels “right.” With balance, you have the energy to do what you want, sleep well and feel good after you eat.
  • Qi – Qi is the most important part of us. Qi (chee) is invisible, but the effects are not. Qi is everywhere and everything; it is energy and more. When you wake planning your next nap you know you are Qi deficient. When you crave certain foods (salty and sweet are the most common) you know you are Qi deficient.
    Here’s a visual example: When you see leaves and branches move – you think you are seeing wind, but you are seeing the effects of Qi.
  • Gu Qi – We also have Gu QI– that digests our food. The Spleen and Stomach Meridians work with Gu Qi.
    And, each Meridian has its own Qi.
  • Meridian – Most people remember my comparison of the human body to a Christmas tree with strands of lights. Those stands are the Meridians. They have names: Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Gall Bladder, Heart, Small Intestine, Kidney, and Bladder, Pericardium and Triple Warmer. These Meridians do things with those organs and much more. At this time of year, spring, the Meridians are Liver and Gall Bladder. These Meridians are associated with the eyes, tendons and ligaments. Symptoms can be rib pain, headaches, blood pressure, eye problems and sleep problems. The emotions are anger, frustration, lack of courage and depression. These conditions can be treated with Acupuncture and proper nutrition.

One of the easiest ways you can take care of yourself during and between treatments is to eat better. Foods that are the most beneficial for Spring (Liver and Gall Bladder Meridians) are black sesame seeds, celery, chives, clams, crabs, peppermint, vinegar, beef, chicken cherries, coconut, figs, grapes, tomatoes, lentils, potatoes ( sweet & red small) and tofu. I also recommend eating beets during this time to help clean the liver.